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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Who's Wasting Your Tax Dollars

Citizens Against Government Waste has released its annual "Pig Book," outlining the tax dollars that each of our elected representatives in Washington is wasting on questionable and, perhaps, completely unnecessary porkbarrel projects.

So how much of our hard-earned income did Southwest Virginia's congresspersons pour down the crapper this year? The list:

Rick Boucher (D-9th District): 19 projects; $14.6 million
Virgil Goode (R-5th District): 41 projects; $21.7 million
Bob Goodlatte (R-6th District): 11 projects; $2.3 million

It's worth noting that Virgil Goode made the TV news last night. Brit Hume had a short segment on his Fox News show devoted to one of Goode's expenditures that I had brought attention to back when it was revealed in October - $100,000 to develop a walking tour of tiny Boydton, Virginia.

When it's not your money, why not spend it on nonsense like this, right Virge?

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the expenditures of our two liberal senators here in the commonwealth:

Warner (R-Retirement City): 122 projects; $251.2 million
Webb: (D-Ozone): 121 projects; $254.1 million

May they all someday hang their heads in shame.

- - -

A summary of total government waste as identified by Citizens Against Government Waste:
In fiscal year 2008, Congress stuffed 11,610 projects (the second highest total ever) into the 12 appropriations bills worth $17.2 billion. The 11,610 projects represent a 337 percent increase over the 2,658 projects in fiscal year 2007. The $17.2 billion is a 30 percent increase over the fiscal year 2007 total of $13.2 billion. Only the Defense and Homeland Security bills included earmarks in fiscal year 2007, so comparisons of other bills are made between fiscal years 2008 and 2006. Total pork identified by CAGWsince 1991 adds up to $271 billion.
For the love of God.

In Terms Of Specifics

With regard to Representative Rick Boucher's wasteful pork spending in particular, here are the details. These expenditures, once again, are slated for fiscal year 2008 only. There'll be more and more just like these in years to come - if he's not stopped.

Ask yourself the following, as you go through these dollar outlays:

1) Are the projects necessary?

2) Are the entities to which the money is being handed over - without bids having been sought; without any oversight having gone into the process - the best suited for the work? Are they all even legitimate?

3) Are these projects the kinds of things that the federal government should be involved in?

4) Fed chairman Ben Bernanke announced yesterday that the USA may be going into recession. The New York Times is reporting jobless claims to be at their highest level since 2005. Does the government need to be pouring money into the following projects at this time?

5) What is Mr. Boucher getting in return?

From the 2008 Pig Book (click on the image in order to be able to read it):

We have something approaching 3 million federal employees, many of which are tasked with the job of determining how best to spend the taxpayers' money. Those thousands of individuals follow elaborate guidelines (and strict laws) as they do their time-consuming appropriations work.

The expenditures you see here bypassed that whole process. One man decided - without anyone's input or oversight - to shell out your money to these organizations. No questions asked.

Questions abound.

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Special note: May I respectfully request that some investigative reporter at the Roanoke Times or Bristol Herald-Courier get off his dead ass start earning his paycheck and look into that $147,000 for "Ninth District Development Financing in Abingdon [ Boucher's hometown] for capitalization of a revolving loan fund"?

Information courtesy of Citizens Against Government Waste.

A Cunning Political Ploy

This maneuver is sure to put pressure on the officials responsible for moving the Wise County coal-fired power plant initiative forward. Opponents are going to give them the cold shoulder!
Power Plant Opponents To Boycott DEQ Hearing Tonight
By Kathy Still, Bristol Herald-Courier Staff Writer

Opponents of a proposed $1.8 billion coal-fired power plant in Wise County, Va., are being urged to boycott tonight’s public hearing about the facility.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will host the hearing at 6 p.m. at St. Paul High School’s auditorium.

The coal industry is urging plant supporters to pack the meeting and speak in favor of a pollution permit for the facility.

Environmental groups are urging opponents to stay away because of the way they allegedly were treated at last month’s hearing. (link)
A strategem! Make 'em squirm! Be absent when decision-makers seek public input!

I wonder if members of the Democratic Party might adopt this same magnificent strategy come November and boycott the presidential election so as to get their way.

Can these people be for real?

Why Are We Just Now Learning This?

For how many years now has Hillary been in the public eye? Lots, right? So why is this Nixon-era story just now surfacing?
Watergate-Era Judiciary Chief of Staff: Hillary Clinton Fired For Lies, Unethical Behavior
By Dan Calabrese, North Star Writers Group

As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying.

The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.


Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.

Why?

“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.” (
link)
Zeifman goes on to maintain that Hillary could have easily been disbarred for her unethical actions, had she gone before a judge.

What strikes me about this story is that the mainstream press slept through the entire eight years of the Clinton administration, waking only on occasion to attack Newt Gingrich and trash the Reagan era. This was news. And they blundered past it. (I'm being charitable).

How disgraceful.

Howling Hyperbole Of The Day

From the New York Times:
On Tuesday, Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, waived the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and other environmental protections to allow the government to finish building 700 or so miles of border fence by year’s end without undertaking legally mandated reviews of the consequences for threatened wildlife and their habitats.

To prevent an environmental disaster, Congress should use that oversight power to block the project, then move rapidly to rewrite a fundamentally bad law. (
link)
An environmental disaster. A fence in the desert.

"This is your brain on drugs ..."

Planet Warms. Species Die Off.

2008 A.D.?

No. 10,000 B.C.

Study: Humans Drove Final Nail into Mammoth Coffin
By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Staff Writer

Humans may have struck the final blow that killed the woolly-mammoth, but climate change seems to have played a major part in setting up the end-game, according to a new study.

Though mammoth populations declined severely around 12,000 years ago, they didn't completely disappear until around 3,600 years ago. Scientists have long debated what finally drove the furry beasts over the edge. Researchers led by David Nogues-Bravo of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Spain used models of the climate, as well as models of woolly-mammoth and human populations, to study the relative importance of various factors leading to the mammals' demise.

The scientists published their results in the journal PLoS Biology.

The team found that the brunt of the damage done to mammoths was due to Earth's warming weather around 8,000 to 6,000 years ago. Since Earth was coming out of a glacial period at that time, temperatures were climbing and recasting the planet's landscape, and the mammoth's preferred habitat, steppe tundra, was vastly reduced. (link)


Researchers have determined that the planet then went into prolonged cooling. Followed by a period of warming. And cooling. And warming ...

No word on whether Al Gore's ancestors were hiding under a rock throughout the last ten millennia. I have my guess ...

Get Out Your Checkbook

I'd love to be there just to watch:
Titanic Auction
AP

London - A collection of artifacts owned by a Titanic survivor - including a ticket for the ill-fated voyage - will be sold at an auction in London later this month.

The collection also includes a pocket watch that reportedly stopped at the exact moment the ship sank on April 15, 1912.

The items belonged to Lillian Asplund, the last American survivor of the disaster. She died in 2006 at the age of 99. (link)
I can still hear that haunting music from the movie. The history that these artifacts represent ...

Bill Of Rights Slowly Being Quashed

When the city of Chicago adopted the most draconian gun laws in the country, effectively neutering the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights, we were told the actions were necessary in order to control the ever-worsening crime problem; actions that would make headlines like these a thing of the past.

Welcome to the present:

In Chicago, Youth Violence Prompts Clampdown
22 Students Slain So Far This Year; City's Public Schools Get Security Cameras and Extra Police

A clampdown.

Well, they can't blame guns. They've been banned. So it's on to crushing the 4th Amendment. And the 5th. The 6th ...

It Don't Get Better Than This

What is it with Democrats having to pay for it if they want sex?

This is funny:

Stabenow Husband Busted With Hooker

More Democrat family values.This week's installment of Democrats caught with their pants down involves Thomas Athans, husband of Michigan's Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow.

I wonder if she'll be appearing with him at a news conference?

Even more amusing, this was one of the dopes who ran Air America into the ground.
It's at this point that you are all wondering what this Democratic Senator Stabenow, former schoolmarm (no joke), wife of this dude who needs to risk disease and death in order to get himself some meaningful nooky, looks like.

I'm not sayin' nuthin'..

Photo courtesy of stabenow.senate.gov

The Personification Of The Clueless Left

Ted Turner is right up there with Barbra Streisand when it comes to articulating goofy political positions. After warning Americans that we will be eating each other - literally - in 30 years, because of the global warming threat (reminiscent of actor Ted Danson's prediction 15 years ago that the world's oceans would be dead in ten years; that apocalypse brought about by pollution), Turner and interviewer Charlie Rose switched to a discussion about the Iraq War. After ridiculing the United States military, Turner spewed this bit of idiocy about the insurgents who are fighting us in the streets of Baghdad:

I think that they're patriots and that they don't like us because we've invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing: we'd be bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded.
I recognize the fact that there's no reasoning with unreasonable people Democrats, but Turner might find some facts to be enlightening, like these revealed recently in the Washington Post:

Based on [records captured last fall], U.S. military officials in Iraq said they now think that nine out of 10 suicide bombers have been foreigners, compared with earlier estimates of 75 percent. Similarly, they assess that 90 percent of foreign fighters entering Iraq during the one-year period ending in August came via Syria, a greater proportion than previously believed.
Ted Turner. A Democratic Party shining light.

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Ann Althouse: Ted Turner has become a deranged old man.